Write a 500-word expository essay on the topic of technology, history, and society. Your essay should have a clearly established and sustained viewpoint and purpose. In addition, your writing should be well ordered, logical, and unified, as well as original and insightful. Following are the content requirements of the essay:
1. Select one of the following emerging technologies: nanotechnology, biotechnology, artificial intelligence, and robotics.

Expository Essay on Nanotechnology

Proliferated technological advancement has increasingly led to the development of novel techniques for handling various activities. Nanotechnology is one of many emerging technologies that have continued to inspire both awe and controversy across diverse public forums. Indeed, Gyles (2012) describes nanotechnology as the manufacturing of functional parts or systems, all of which are manipulated at molecular or nanometer scales. A nanometer is a scale that measures up to a millionth of a millimeter. Thus far, a review of a growing body of research examines the political, social, and economic outcomes or effects of nanotechnology.

Political Effects of Nanotechnology

The emergence of nanotechnology, among other emerging technologies ranging from biotechnology to robotics and artificial intelligence, has increasingly sparked controversial debates across various global political forums. On the one hand, proponents of this emerging technology claim that it has the potential to foster the development of wide-ranging solutions to several challenges currently experienced by society. Indeed, nanotechnology has myriad uses in diverse fields ranging from medicine and food to automobiles and several other significant industrial applications. Pokrajac et al. (2021) surmise that nanotechnology can save humanity from a grim and uncertain future that is rife with numerous challenges, including climate change, lack of clean water, hunger, and several other social inequalities. The authors argue that nanotechnology provides revolutionary innovations and advances that have the solutions to solve aforementioned global issues. In particular, nanotechnology continues to create meaningful changes in disparate global fields and areas, including fortifying the protection of the environment, management of resources, creation of healthcare improvements, and energy.

On the other hand, we have opponents who argue against the use of certain products and materials developed using nanotechnology, including, among others, nanoparticles. Politicians who hold opposing views to adopting the use of nanotechnology call for the implementation of stricter regulations and policies designed to curb the production of toxic nanoparticles based on the notion that they pose greater risks to the environment and human health. According to the report tabled in front of the 108th U.S. Congress on the issue of nanotechnology, the said technology fosters the development of nanoscale materials that may further result in negative health outcomes for people. This is because nanomaterials are so small that they can enter the human body through various mechanisms, gain access to vital bodily organs and tissues, and cause irreparable destruction to multiple organ systems, including cells and tissues (GPO, n.d.). Nonetheless, the small sizes of nanoparticles also render them detrimental to the environment and human lives because they react differently to organ systems compared to larger materials with similar compositions.

Social Effects of Nanotechnology

As an emerging technology whose applications are still emerging and, therefore, not fully understood, nanotechnology has the potential to create effective solutions to myriad challenges experienced by developing nations. Some of these challenges include lacking basic resources such as adequate and quality food, drinking water, education, healthcare, and energy. The application of nanotechnology in various industries such as healthcare, water purification, energy, and automobiles has the potential to create and improve a sustainable future for humanity. Findings from studies carried out by Pokrajac et al. (2021) reveal that nanotechnology creates and enables remote medical and healthcare provision. This is especially beneficial to society since remote healthcare ensures that many people living in rural areas and possibly without access to quality healthcare (such as elderly seniors) have a chance at receiving better medical care, thereby prolonging their lives. Nonetheless, Pokrajac et al. (2021) and Valdiglesias and Laffon (2020) argue that nanotechnology also offers an opportunity to manage and treat several infectious and emerging diseases such as COVID-19. In particular, using nanodevices to diagnose underlying infections is bound to improve the safety and treatment procedures in the future. Indeed, COVID-19 vaccines such as BioNTech/Pfizer and Moderna use lipid nanomaterials (nanoparticles) designed to improve the nano delivery of the vaccine to the viral attachment sites (Pokrajac et al., 2021). Future nanotechnology applications are rife with endless expectations and advances, especially in treating cancer cells.

Despite its remarkable and positive benefits to society, nanotechnology equally presents wide-ranging risks to both the environment and human lives. The emission of nanoparticles from industries increasingly poses deleterious threats to people’s lives and the environment. Nanoparticles are increasingly reactive in contact with the human body’s vital cells, tissues, and organ systems. This is due to their increased surface area to mass ratio that makes them act differently compared to bulkier and larger materials with the same compositional characteristics. For prospects, there is a need for governments to oversee the production of nanomaterials through the implementation of measures designed to compel industries to use ethical standards of production.

Economic Effects of the Emerging Technology

Proliferated advancement in technology is at the heart of economic development. Like many other novel technologies that have emerged in recent times, nanotechnologies play a key role in fostering the development of wide-ranging global economies. Nanotechnology has a greater connection with several industries ranging from automotive, aviation, food manufacturing, energy production, climate, and medicine. One of the many positive economic outcomes of nanotechnology applications in various industries is the creation of several employment opportunities. Indeed, the food industry and several other manufacturing sectors provide jobs to numerous employees (Adam & Youssef, 2019). Employed people in said industries earn salaries, which in turn enables them to support their livelihoods or welfare.

The only negative economic outcome bound to arise from using nanotechnology in various industrial areas is the cost of setting up new industries capable of harnessing the power of nanoparticles to accomplish different kinds of goals and objectives. Nonetheless, people may also incur huge expenditures from seeking out treatment because of inhaling toxic nanomaterials.

In conclusion, a critical assessment of myriad scholarly perspectives reviews the political, social, and economic effects of nanotechnology. Nanotechnology refers to the scientific production, designing, and application of microdevices and structures. This technology has led to the development of a variety of implications around the world. Nanotechnology has myriad political, social, and economic impacts on society, as discussed herein. For prospects, nanotechnology will likely create positive advances in medicine, manufacturing, and myriad industrial sectors.

References

Adam, H., & Youssef, A. (2019). Economic impacts of nanotechnology industry: Case study on Egypt. SSRN Electronic Journal. https://doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3314931

Gyles C. (2012). Nanotechnology. The Canadian veterinary journal = La revue veterinaire canadienne53(8), 819–822.

Pokrajac, L., Abbas, A., Chrzanowski, W., Dias, G. M., Eggleton, B. J., Maguire, S., Maine, E., Malloy, T., Nathwani, J., Nazar, L., Sips, A., Sone, J., van den Berg, A., Weiss, P. S., & Mitra, S. (2021). Nanotechnology for a sustainable future: Addressing global challenges with the international network4sustainable nanotechnology. ACS Nano, 15(12), 18608–18623. https://doi.org/10.1021/acsnano.1c10919

U.S. Government Printing Office. (n.d.). The societal implications of nanotechnology. U.S. Government Printing Office. https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CHRG-108hhrg86340/html/CHRG-108hhrg86340.htm

 Valdiglesias, V., & Laffon, B. (2020). The impact of nanotechnology in the current universal COVID-19 crisis. let’s not forget nanosafety! Nanotoxicology, 14(8), 1013–1016. https://doi.org/10.1080/17435390.2020.1780332

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